Never Do It Alone PT3
Is your church service like a Passion event? Or do you pattern yourself after Hillsong, Bethel, Gateway, Jesus Culture, Elevation, Lifechurch or Saddleback?
Are you doing it alone – just you and your staff? Are you using the congregation in worship? Are they more than mindless “worship zombies” that invade your sanctuary each week?
Never Do It Alone!
Worship is not a spectator sport. You have to get involved.
Never Do It Alone PT3
So, let’s look at a few ways to involve the congregation during the worship service.
- Announcements – You can read this on my previous podcast/blog Never Do It Alone PT2.
Remember this quote from me:
People don’t come to church to hear the announcements.
2. Invite one of your elders or leaders to introduce the offering time and then prayer for the finances of the church. They may could include a brief testimony about how they have enjoyed being able to give financially to the church and the kingdom. Again, this is not to be an off the cuff speech. We’ve had that in the American church for over 50 years. Let it be written out, reviewed by the pastor or staff, edited, and then presented with confidence. And it doesn’t have to take 10 minutes. It could take 1-2 minutes. But, oh, for the people to hear from one of their own will bless them and help the church.
3. Prayer time – I’ve been part of churches that have the people form a straight line in front of the altars and they are each prayed for. I’ve seen individuals come to the front and sit or kneel at the altar and be prayed for. Other times the pastor will ask for the “lifted hand” to see who has an unspoken request. I’ve seen prayer time take 3 minutes up to 10 or more. It could be an important part of your worship service. How about having a team of people who assist you with these people. And also, let some of them pray on the mic for their fellow members. Remember – you don’t have to do all the praying at each service or event. Share the load.
4. Sermon – as part of your sermon you may want to include using a congregational member by doing a brief “live” interview with them, or having them read your main scripture text, or even praying for you before you start preaching. This will take prep work on your part. You may want to put together a Sermon Series Planning Team as I mentioned on my podcast called Never Do It Alone.
Other practical ways to use members of the congregation in a public worship setting:
- lighting the candles
- preparing and presenting the communion
- When you finish preaching have someone recap your sermon giving 1 or 2 “takeaways” for the people to remember, and then they could lead them into a Response time or lead the Benediction.
- Testimony of healing, provision, and salvation. Again, prepared, practiced, polished, and previewed by you or your staff. I know an impromptu testimony like I’ve seen years ago in a Sunday night service can go long and you never know what the people will say. This should not be that way. No surprises allowed.
- have someone tidy up the platform 15-30 minutes before everyone arrives for worship. Everything has its place and every place has a thing. Or something like that. I’ve seen guitar cases, amps, props, you name it left on the platform or steps. Assign someone the job of making sure everything looks presentable ahead of time.
- also, don’t forget the important roles of ushers, greeters, welcome center hosts, refreshments, parking lot greeters and security, technical team with computers and projectors, sound techs, camera operators, teachers, helpers, assistants – there is a whole lot of behind the scene people who help make it happen each week no matter what size church you may have.
Never Do It Alone PT3
In the Old Testament the people came to worship at the Tabernacle or Temple with a gift, an offering, a sacrifice. In the New Testament we find many references to what they did “in church.”
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:16-17 KJV